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The Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2016 was passed on the 28th November 2018 and is awaiting Royal Assent.

That new law after it receives royal ascent, paves the way for regulations to require, amongst other things, a prior approval of a Sponsor BEFORE a valid application is lodged.

So, if you are planning on lodging a Partner visa any time soon, you should lodge it immediately and do not delay! Otherwise, onshore applicants could end up being subject to Schedule 3 criteria, which if not met, could result in a refusal of your Partner visa application.

The proposed changes will have the following affects:

• Separation of the sponsorship assessment from the visa application process

• Requiring the approval of persons as family sponsors before any relevant visa applications are made

• Imposing statutory obligations on persons who are or were approved as family sponsors and provide for enforceable sanctions if such obligations are not satisfied

• Allowing the Minister to refuse a sponsorship application and cancel and/or bar a family sponsor where inappropriate use of the program or serious offences are detected, especially those involving violence and

• Improvement of the sharing of personal information between parties to the application and the program more generally.